David Asman:Well, we don't hear the president talking about really substantial deregulation, but you think a lot of new congressmen are. Will it pass before 2012 elections?
Congressman Kinzinger:Well, look, I think you'll see it pass the House of Representatives. You've seen bill after bill pass the House of Representatives and die and stall in the Senate, go into the old circular file.
So I think a lot of people are realizing that it's this overregulation, this burden of paperwork, these requirements on small business owners that's really hampering that job growth. So until we get that taken control of, we're tinkering around the edges. That's a huge thing. I mean, the federal government does not create jobs. And I don't know why it's so difficult to learn that, but we don't create jobs. We can create a job-creating environment, though.
David Asman: Right.
Congressman Kinzinger: And that's what we do by scaling back regulations...
David Asman: I think there is a general agreement among most Americans that that is true. The question is whether, in this politically charged environment, Congress can get substantive, not just superficial deregulation, such as we've heard from this administration, but really substantive deregulation before the next election. What do you think?
Congressman Kinzinger: I think it's going to be tough, but I think there are glimmers of hope. As an example, the EPA -- you know, they had their greenhouse gas regulations that were pending that were going to cost a couple million jobs estimated, and the president came out and said, OK, we're going to hold off on that.
Now, we'll see what happens if he's reelected in 2012. But that was a move in the right direction. The more we talk about this, the more the American people, you know, verbalize this in town hall meetings and everything else, the pressure comes down. Reducing regulations and making it easy for small business is probably the easiest thing we can do to get an immediate hit and immediate impact.
As an example, in the cement industry, there's basically an attempt by the EPA to increase the achievable standards immediately, which would cost 20 percent of our cement jobs. So we have a bill that basically would push that back and allow more realistic breathing room there and save American jobs.
David Asman: So if I get you right -- correct me if I'm wrong, but if I get you right, what you're saying is that, you know, we can't really pass legislation, but we can put the pressure on to force the president, force the executive, which is in charge of all these agencies that have the regs, to deregulate in a substantive way. It's that pressure that's more important than legislation right now.
Congressman Kinzinger: It's a little of both. I mean, legislation is very important, but as you've seen in the House of Representatives, we pass a lot of legislation that again, just dies in the Senate. So the pressure needs to be put on Harry Reid to actually bring bills up and vote on them, first off. And then it needs to be put on the administration, who can, in essence, unilaterally get in and make some differences.
It's got to be all that, kind of an "all of the above" approach. I think we can make some positive gains. But look, in this environment out here, it's obviously very difficult. The president has thrown basically all of himself into the fact that, once again, we need another stimulus-lite plan, and it's going to be like the 10th white horse that Washington's ridden in on to try to save the American economy. It's not going to be Washington. It's going to be Main Street.